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Special edition: The best travel reads this summer

Go on a journey without ever leaving home

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Go on a journey without ever leaving home
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July 2nd 2022

The Economist this week

A special edition on our summer reads


Welcome back to “Summer reads”. This season I’m sharing some of my favourite stories from The Economist. Sift through our full collection of beach-friendly reads (and if you like what you see, please consider bookmarking the page: I drop new stories into the series throughout the week).

As we dive into July, and America’s Independence Day weekend, many of us are relishing the prospect of travel. For this newsletter I’ve chosen stories to help start you on your journey. Let our Rome correspondent be your guide to the seven best books on Italy—whether you’re packing your bags or not. In fact, why not traverse 3,000km of French countryside without ever leaving home? The Tour de France got under way yesterday, and my colleague has a basic principle for how to get the most out of this slow-burning race: “The TV viewer must lean back.” Let me find my remote.

This beautiful ode to New York’s borough of Queens (my new home since March) reminds me that you needn’t go far to be transported to other worlds. There are also the places that we long to visit but cannot, for now: savour Ukraine’s cuisine another way, by understanding its history and remarkable diversity. And for a thought-provoking read, here’s an invitation to time travel—back to 1949 in China when (our scenario imagines) Mao Zedong’s Communist Party loses the Chinese civil war to Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Party.

I’ve enjoyed receiving your book recommendations to complement those of “The Economist reads”: please keep them coming. Fred Regan (Tennessee, USA) shares “Midnight in Sicily” by Peter Robb, which sinks its fingernails into the island’s network of violence and corruption and yet, Mr Robb says, is about much more—from the life of Lampedusa to the interlinked histories of heroin, sugar and coffee. (A trawl through our archive reveals we called it “one of the finest books on the Italian south”.) And in response to our list on modern France I received three hourras! for “The Secret Life of France” by Lucy Wadham: thanks to Sarah Ferguson (Australia), Kara Lindstrom (Canada) and Clara Young (France).

However you travel this summer, I wish you a riveting onward journey.

Stephanie Studer
US Digital Editor

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